ABC Cancels Roseanne, Calls Roseanne Barr's Racist Tweet 'Abhorrent' and 'Repugnant'
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” president of ABC Entertainment Channing Dungey announced in a statement Tuesday.
Roseanne was the no. 1 scripted series of the season with a 6.4 rating in the key demo, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Wrap reports that Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT have pulled all reruns, too.
The backlash has been fierce after Barr, who has been outspoken in her support of President Donald Trump, tweeted a since-deleted attack on former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, who is black, during a racist Twitter rant overnight Monday.
“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj,” she wrote, using Jarrett’s initials in response to a tweeted conspiracy theory about the Obama administration.
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Barr also attacked Chelsea Clinton, tweeting a since-deleted lie that “she’s married to soros nephew,” referring to billionaire George Soros.
Sara Gilbert publicly denounced her costar, and several other celebrities called on the ABC to cancel the show.
“Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show,” Gilbert tweeted on Tuesday. “I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”
“This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love — one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member,” she added.
Emma Kenney, who plays Gilbert’s character Darlene’s daughter on the show, tweeted: “I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”
Debra Messing also spoke out against Barr, applauding Sykes for her decision to leave the show.
“Thank you @iamwandasykes,” she tweeted. “[Barr] is a fascist. What she said about @ValerieJarrett is unconscionable.”
“It spell checked — I meant RACIST,” she clarified in a second tweet. “But fascist can stand.”
Rosie O’Donnell, who is close friends with Barr but disagrees vehemently with her politics, also condemned the actress’ tweet.
“Her racist comment was childish and beneath her best self,” she tweeted.
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough host tweeted that “no apology” could justify ABC “turning a blind eye to this bigotry by airing another second of her show.”
“Roseanne Barr compared Valerie Jarrett to an ape,” he wrote. “Even in the Age of Trump, there are red lines that can never be crossed. This is one.”
“@ABC and @Disney do the right thing,” he followed up after the cancellation. “There are still boundaries in the Age of Trump that cannot be crossed. Thank you for putting values above money. ”
“In the pre-Trump era, ABC would have taken action against @therealroseanne by breakfast,” tweeted Dan Pfeiffer, former senior Obama advisor. “The fact that they haven’t shows how much Trump’s election has mainstreamed repugnant racist views.”
After news broke of the cancellation, Pfeiffer tweeted: “Good for @ABCNetwork for doing the right thing here.”
Several others condemned Barr, including Patricia Arquette and Rita Moreno.
On Tuesday, Barr apologized and announced she was “leaving Twitter.”
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” she wrote. “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me — my joke was in bad taste.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations applauded ABC’s decision.
“We welcome the swift and appropriate action taken by ABC and hope it sends a message that the promotion of hatred and bigotry will not be accepted by our nation’s entertainment industry,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad in a statement. “Ms. Barr has a First Amendment right to express her views, however Islamophobic or racist, but she does not have a constitutional right to a program on a national television network.”